New in Sweden: Pay your bills in time

If you buy something without paying immediately, you will receive a bill (räkning) after a certain period of time. A bill may also be called an invoice (faktura). Bills will arrive in the post or by email, and they can all look different.

When you have received a bill, you should check:

  • That you have actually ordered the item.
  • That the price is correct.
  • The date that payment has to be made by.

You must pay your bills and it is important that they are paid on time. Somewhere on the bill, it will state the date by which payment must be made. Usually, it will say final date for payment (sista betalningsdag) or the due date (förfallodatum). If you do not pay in time, it can cause you major problems. Firstly, the amount you have to pay will be higher. Also, if you fail to pay the same bill on several occasions, your debt will be passed to the Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogden). This debt will make it more difficult for you to become a Swedish citizen.

If you do not pay the bill for your accommodation, you could be evicted. This means that you will lose your rental contract and will have to move. If you have been evicted, it will be difficult for you to find new accommodation.

There are some bills that don’t arrive very often. If, for example, you own a TV, you must pay a radio and television fee (radio- och tv-avgift). This payment is usually made either once or four times per year.

If there is an error in the bill

Have you received a bill that contains an error? If so, you should write to the company that sent the bill. Explain in your letter or email that you do not intend to pay, and tell them why you do not intend to do so. This is called contesting (bestrida) an invoice. Always save a copy of everything that you write and send to the company.

Do you need help to contest an invoice? Contact a consumer adviser (konsumentvägledare) in your municipality.


Those who are new in Sweden can find further advice here